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Kickstarter Roundup: Winter 2021

Saturday, April 3, 2021

A look at the successful steampunk-related Kickstarter campaigns that ran in January, February, and March. The big winner was CMON, which scored a massive $3.3 million haul for Zombicide: Undead or Alive.

Other notable campaigns included Iron Kingdoms: Requiem from Privateer Press ($594,119); a documentary about Hellboy creator Mike Mignola ($528,785); Illuminated Editions from Beehive Books ($342,247); and Mask of the Rose from Failbetter Games ($237,029).

Steampunk Lamp - Zen Man

Creator: David Bodell. Location: Los Angeles, USA

Launched: Jan 4, 2021. Ended: Feb 4, 2021.

Goal: US$1,250. Raised: US$1,827 from 14 backers.

Original news item from Jan 8, 2021:

Southern California artist David Bodell is raising Kickstarter funds for Zen Man, a steampunk lamp that doubles as an electrical outlet and charger for mobile devices. Each model is handmade in his shop.

“I’ve been creating steampunk lamps for the last few years as a way to combine my love of metals, electrical engineering, craftsmanship, and design of uniquely purposeful lamps,” he writes.

He estimates a March 2021 delivery if you make an Early Bird pledge of US $135 or more. Or you can pledge $149 for May delivery. He’s also offering the lamps in pairs and six-packs. Shipping is limited to the U.S.

This is his third Kickstarter campaign for steampunk-style lamps, following successful efforts in January and November 2020. But he describes this design as his favorite.

More info: Kickstarter page | David Bodell website

Word Smith - Volume 1, 2 & 3 - Fear and Honour

Creator: Stephen Kok. Location: Sydney, Australia

Launched: Jan 24, 2021. Ended: Feb 23, 2021.

Goal: AU$5,999 (US$4,612). Raised: AU$19,862 (US$15,274) from 542 backers.

Original news item from Jan 29, 2021:

Stephen Kok of Sydney, Australia is raising Kickstarter funds for the third and final volume of Word Smith, described as a “steampunk fantasy adventure where words come to life.” The graphic novels are set in a world where “a skilled artisan can craft words to evoke feelings and emotions from its recipients,” the author writes.

The 60-page finale, Fear & Honour, has protagonist Victoria and her friends contending with a mysterious stranger. It’s slated for delivery in October.

Rewards include a variant cover by Michael Shelfer, best known for his work on Marvel’s Domino series.

More info: Kickstarter page | Stephen Kok website

Iron Kingdoms: Requiem

Creator: Privateer Press. Location: Woodinville, WA, USA

Launched: Jan 26, 2021. Ended: Feb 11, 2021.

Goal: US$100,000. Raised: US$594,119 from 6835 backers.

Original news item from Feb 5, 2021:

Game publisher Privateer Press is on Kickstarter with Iron Kingdoms: Requiem, a new version of its popular role-playing game updated for the Dungeons & Dragons 5e rules system. The story combines steampunk and sword-and-sorcery elements. It’s set in the fictional continent of Immoren, populated by the five Iron Kingdoms of humanity along with elves, dwarves, and a hostile island nation known as Cryx.

The publisher plans three sourcebooks: the Iron Kingdoms: Requiem setting book and two companion volumes. Monsternomicon contains data on more than 80 creatures that players can encounter in the game. Legend of the Witchfire serves as an introduction to the Iron Kingdoms.

More info: Kickstarter page | Privateer Press website

Illuminated Editions - Modern Artists Reinvent Classic Books

Creator: Beehive Books. Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA

Launched: Jan 27, 2021. Ended: Feb 25, 2021.

Goal: US$150,000. Raised: US$342,247 from 1024 backers.

Original news item from Feb 12, 2021:

Beehive Books is on Kickstarter with three new “Illuminated Editions,” classic literary works with illustrations by contemporary artists. The new titles are: Kwaidan & Shadowings by Lafcadio Hearn, illustrated by Kent Williams; A Voyage To Arcturus by David Lindsay, illustrated by Jim Woodring; and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, illustrated by the Balbusso Twins. Backers can also opt to receive any of the earlier editions.

More info: Kickstarter page


Creator: M. McGraw. Location: White Marsh, MD, USA

Launched: Feb 1, 2021. Ended: Feb 15, 2021.

Goal: US$400. Raised: US$710 from 42 backers.

Original news item from Feb 5, 2021:

M. McGraw, an illustrator/designer, is seeking Kickstarter funds for MarrowScar, a tabletop role-playing game in the form of a zine. McGraw describes it as a “weird west setting with elements of fantasy, steampunk magi-tech, and a light sprinkling of eldritch horror undertones.”

It’s set in a world populated by humans and creatures known as gnolls. The title refers to a massive, cursed chasm created after a centuries-old battle between the two sides. “Recently, the spread of the Empire of the Burning Eye to the north, growing levels of dissent within the gnolls to the west, and human reclamation of the territory near the MarrowScar to build a railroad to their farthest frontier towns are causing tensions to flare once more,” the creator writes.

The zine will include a map and information for building and playing any of four playable species.

More info: Kickstarter page

Sky Islands 3d Printable Terrain

Creator: Aether Studios. Location: Greer, SC, USA

Launched: Feb 1, 2021. Ended: Mar 16, 2021.

Goal: US$1,500. Raised: US$34,464 from 400 backers.

Original news item from Feb 5, 2021:

Aether Studios is on Kickstarter with Sky Islands, a set of steampunk-themed model files for 3D printers. Designed for use with tabletop games, the models re-create an aerial steampunk city known as Aethertowne, with vehicles, miniatures, and terrain.

More info: Kickstarter page | Aether Studios website

Coddlesworth’s Clockwork Circus

Creator: Rem Alternis Productions. Location: Chicago, USA

Launched: Feb 2, 2021. Ended: Mar 4, 2021.

Goal: US$5,000. Raised: US$10,357 from 144 backers.

Original news item from Feb 5, 2021:

Rem Alternis Productions is seeking Kickstarter funds for Coddlesworth’s Clockwork Circus, a comic book adventure set in a steampunk fantasy world.

“When the Tempest—an impenetrable storm spawned by the Great Cataclysm more than three thousand years ago—suddenly dissipates, it reveals a massive continent untouched by modern technology,” the producers write. “Simultaneously, arcane energies long discounted by science now permeate the world, giving rise to practitioners of magic and bringing to life a variety magical creatures and hazards.” The protagonists are two young women who find themselves traveling in an airship with a troupe of circus performers.

The first 28-page issue is scheduled for delivery in July. It will be printed in black-and-white. Minimum pledge for a digital download is US $10.

More info: Kickstarter page | Rem Alternis Productions website

Mask of the Rose

Creator: Failbetter Games. Location: London, UK

Launched: Feb 8, 2021. Ended: Mar 10, 2021.

Goal: £90,000 (US$124,633). Raised: £171,140 (US$237,029) from 4923 backers.

Original news item from Feb 12, 2021:

Failbetter Games has launched a Kickstarter campaign for Mask of the Rose, a romantic visual novel set in the same alternate Victorian-era universe as Fallen London, Sunless Sea, and Sunless Skies.

Art director Paul Arendt describes it as “a chamber piece” that’s “smaller and more focused than Fallen London.”

More info: Kickstarter page | Failbetter Games website

The Amazing American Circus

Creator: Klabater SA. Location: Warsaw, Poland

Launched: Feb 9, 2021. Ended: Mar 11, 2021.

Goal: €10,000 (US$12,122). Raised: €11,171 (US$13,539) from 222 backers.

Original news item from Feb 12, 2021:

Klabater SA is on Kickstarter with The Amazing American Circus, a single-player deck-building video game in which you assemble a traveling circus during the American Gilded Age. Players travel across the country, hiring performers and meeting historical characters such as P.T. Barnum, Buffalo Bill, Theodore Roosevelt, and Queen Victoria.

It’s slated for release this May in versions for Windows PCs and game consoles.

More info: Kickstarter page

Zombicide: Undead or Alive

Creator: CMON. Location: Alpharetta, GA, USA

Launched: Feb 17, 2021. Ended: Mar 10, 2021.

Goal: US$150,000. Raised: US$3,310,872 from 21,160 backers.

Original news item from Feb 26, 2021:

Game developer CMON is on Kickstarter with Zombicide: Undead or Alive, a new addition to its popular Zombicide board game series. This one is set in the Wild West. “There’s a million ways to die in the West, but now nobody seems to want to stay dead,” the developer writes.

A “Dead West Pledge” of $100 or more will get you the base version of the game with 88 figures and 133 cards. But you can also make a $140 “Steampunk Pledge” that adds the Zombicide: Gears & Guns expansion with 11 figures, 176 cards and six “steam dice.” The games are set to ship in March 2022.

More info: Kickstarter page | CMON website


Creator: Spielworxx GmbH. Location: Billerbeck, Germany

Launched: Feb 19, 2021. Ended: Mar 6, 2021.

Goal: €17,500 (US$21,308). Raised: €26,898 (US$32,762) from 420 backers.

Original news item from Feb 26, 2021:

Spielworxx GmbH of Billerbeck, Germany is on Kickstarter with Tharos, a dual-language (English and German) tabletop game with a steampunk setting. Designed for two to four players, it’s a “Dice-Bag-Building” game, “where dice represent actions and their respective strengths,” the developer explains.

Here’s the story: “Decades ago, the four influential steam guilds Power & Torsion, Cogwheel Trust, Crystal & Ore and Future Horizon started to exploit the planet Tharos. Now it is necessary to open up a new region! In doing so, the bustling guilds both have an eye on the other guilds and the dreaded Circumdate Caelo Trust, which also lays claim to this region and does not shy away from using military means.”

More info: Kickstarter page

Mike Mignola: A Documentary Film

Creator: Jim Demonakos. Location: Seattle, USA

Launched: Mar 1, 2021. Ended: Mar 31, 2021.

Goal: US$58,000. Raised: US$528,785 from 4652 backers.

Original news item from Mar 6, 2021:

Jim Demonakos of Seattle is raising Kickstarter funds for Mike Mignola: Drawing Monsters, a feature-length documentary film about the creator of Hellboy. It will feature interviews with Mignola along with other entertainment industry luminaries. The film is slated for release in April 2022.

More info: Kickstarter page

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